What to Know When Buying a Home with Solar Power
Are you searching for a new home for your family? This experience is an opportunity to choose the floor plan and features that will create the home of your dreams! As a homeowner, you should have a list of must-have items so that the property matches the needs of your family. Is a solar electric system on your list?
Should You Buy a Home with Solar?
There are advantages to buying a home with a solar system installed. Though it may be appealing to have solar already in place upon move-in, there are a few things about the system that should be considered before making the final decision.
The main concern is the status of the solar equipment. There are generally 3 types of solar systems installed on homes.
Owned: If the previous owner paid for the cost of the system in full, then that will be factored into the price of the home. Once the home is purchased, the solar system and its benefits belong to you. If possible, check with the solar company that installed the solar system to see if the warranty will transfer over to you if your purchase the house. Most of the solar panels come with a 25 year manufacture warranty from the original installation date.
Leased: In this case, the potential home buyer will have to qualify for the lease in addition to the home loan. You would then take over the payments on the system for the remainder of the agreement at which point you would sign a new lease, purchase the system, or have it removed. The best way to approach a home purchase with a leased solar system is to contact the leasing company and get the facts before making the purchase. It is a good idea to look at the solar lease agreement very carefully, because many of these lease contracts have built in escalators each year, so your monthly payment can go up 2 to 3% every year. That $140.00 monthly payment year one, could increase substantially by year fifteen.
Power Purchase Agreement (PPA): With a PPA, the solar system is owned by a third party. The homeowner would have a contract for purchasing the power that the solar system produces from this third party. The terms of the contract and price for the power are important things to know before purchasing the home. Any power that the system did not provide for the home would have to be purchased from the utility company.
Another consideration for a home purchase with solar is how old the system is and how much electricity it produces in a year. Some people who are new to solar might expect that because a home has a solar system installed, that they will not have an electric bill. Solar Electric systems are not based on the square footage of the home, they are based on how many kWh’s are used in that particular house. It is a good idea to take a look at the electric bills of the previous owners to see how much electricity the solar system produces and decide whether that solar system will meet your energy needs.
To help ease your mind while you make the big home purchase decision on a house with solar installed, enlist the help of a reputable solar company to inspect and advise you about the status and details of the system.
No Solar Power? No Problem.
Don’t let the solar power system be the deciding factor on whether you want to buy a home. If you find the home of your dreams and it does not have a solar system, then you always have the option to add the feature after you move in. In fact, many homeowners prefer to handle the solar installation so that they can choose the type of equipment that is used and the location where the panels are installed. Making this investment soon after you move into a new home can be a great way to cut your utility bills and save money in the future. If you are buying a new home and you want to have a solar system installed, or an existing system inspected, New Day Solar is here to help! We have been designing and installing solar electric systems for 29 years and will give you honest answers to your solar questions. Call us at: (855) 444-6329 or visit our website at: www.newdaysolar.com.